PNC outpaced all other banks and thrifts in net branch closures last quarter, according to data released by SNL Financial.
Pittsburgh-based PNC closed 38 branches, net of new openings, during the first quarter, SNL Financial said in a report last week. Regions Financial and JPMorgan Chase closely followed, shedding 32 and 31 branches, respectively.
Many banks have significantly trimmed their branches in recent quarters as more consumers begin to favor alternative channels, including mobile, online and ATMs, for their financial needs. PNC spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said that 50% of the company's customers use non-branch channels for the majority of their transactions, up from 38% two years ago.
"It has prompted some consolidations," Zwiebel said. "Our overall branch model is changing."
Zwiebel added that the branch consolidations were spread out across the country, declining to provide details on any specific closings.
JPMorgan's closures in the quarter, conversely, were quite concentrated of its 31 closings, 17 occurred in the Detroit metropolitan area alone.
These closings helped make Michigan the state with the highest level of net closures with 28 branches, followed by California with 26 and Washington and Oklahoma with 25 each, according to the SNL Financial research.
Additionally, Arkansas led the country in terms of net openings with three new branches in the state. Altogether, only seven states added net branches, while 40 states had net closings and three states kept steady in terms of their number of branches.
All but one of the Detroit branch closures at JPMorgan resulted from the end of the bank's partnership with the Meijer supermarket chain to run branches within those stores.
The two companies mutually agreed to end the partnership, which dated back to 2005, JPMorgan Chase spokesman Mike Fusco said. He noted that the bank's customers in the area can still receive banking services at nearby stand-alone branches. (The New York bank will hold its annual meeting in Detroit on May 19.)
In February, JPMorgan announced plans to shutter 300 branches by the end of 2016; and Fusco said the closures in Michigan fell in line with this company objective.
Regions Financial has made similar plans, announcing in the fourth quarter a decision to consolidate 50 branch offices, or 3% of its total network, a company spokeswoman noted. Like other banks in SNL Financial's report, though, Regions does plan to add branches in certain markets, including St. Louis, Atlanta and Houston.
The SNL Financial report also noted the 10 banks with the most net branch openings, which was led by TD Bank with just four new branches. The rest of the banks on the list had two net openings each.
TD Bank's new branches are in the New York metropolitan area and South Florida.
"We invest in the markets where we've found a customer demand and as a result, we were able to increase our market share in each of those regions," said Kate Toy, vice president and communications manager at TD Bank.